McClelland: Sadly, It’s Official

Updated Feb. 4 & 5

Note the sentence “Without the supportive infrastructure our government used to provide [see Update 2 below], a small company such as ours cannot continue.” This is an obvious reference to the pending FDA rules — “deeming regulations” — that would regulate — read: stifle — pipe tobacco manufacturers and retailers. When (if?) the rules take effect, “new” blends would be very costly to introduce. And “new” wouldn’t even mean actually new, but blends that went on the market after some arbitrary past date. The original date specified was Feb. 15, 2007, though this could be changed to Aug. 8, 2016. Think of the effect on smaller companies! Moreover, retail tobacconists would be treated as manufacturers whenever they mixed two or more tobaccos already on the market and would effectively be stopped because the cost would be prohibitive. Blending might even include scooping 2 ounces from a larger bag of bulk tobacco. Other draconian rules are in the offing — such as treating pipes like tobacco products rather than accessories — unless Congress, a court, or the FDA itself scraps these outrageous rules. The compliance date is now set for 2021. This change from August of this year has been interpreted as portending a softening of the FDA’s attitude. We can hope so, but nothing short of repeal could make me feel confident that pipe and cigar smokers are safe.

More on this madness in future posts. Many in the YouTube Pipe Community are keeping up with this. On last year’s hopeful developments, see Derek Tant’s video here.

UPDATE 1: For background, see this article at Pipes and Tobacco Magazine. Pipes Magazine radio has more.

UPDATE 2: According to a statement read by Bradley at StuffandThings, the McNeils are closing McClelland not only because of the lack of quality red Virginia and the FDA threat but also because the government ended subsidies to tobacco growers (some time ago). For the record, the government never should have supported tobacco growers or any other crop or industry. Why should anyone be forced to support business people?

4 thoughts on “McClelland: Sadly, It’s Official

  1. I made this argument on a forum, some where on the Ether/sphere, one of those neighborhood jobs, that McClelland was a little schizophrenic about the governement and their role in tobacco production or doom of tobacco products. Runnng and screaming in dread over the FDA and their illegal Fifth column/unconstitutional regulations, yet crying for a hand out to farmers through subsidies that were stolen from law abiding citizens is frankly disgusting. The concern wasn’t over a farmer standing on his own two feet and producing what the customer wants, but how farmers(tobacco farmers in this case) have a right to the subsidies and the infrastructure that the government provides. Commerce between states and foreign governments comes under the jurisdiction of the Federal Gov. no doubt, but the farmer doesn’t need a hand out for a grading system or auction. That ‘s ludicrous. And that was the only argument anyone could provide. Never do they leave man to create on his own, but give excuses excuses excuses. Cornell and Diehl do not seem to have a problem getting quality leaf. Neither do the other blenders. Sounds like the McNeils just needed any excuse to retire. That’s fine by me. I hope they have a wonderful retirement, they deserve it, but cut the crap about farmers and my money going to them because nature has her way and crops aren’t up to standards because of a bad growing season. Sounds like market principles need to be allowed to settle the score, supply and demand takes over and Economic Dawrwinism can flourish. Tobacco prices would go up, but as soon better growing seasons come and go, the market will straighten out and prices will go down. That’s fair. Stealing to pad the fall(protectionism) only leads to tyranny. Always and forever.


  2. The governmental support of the tobacco industry was there to help farmers and provide some stability to an agricultural based business that is subject to the ups and downs of weather and global price fluctuations. It guaranteed quality product for the tobacco companies as well. We do the same thing with corn, beef etc. It allows small farmers to survive. If that’s bad I don’t want to see good.


    1. Matthew, I would prefer that decisions about what is to be produced and in what quantities be left to all of us cooperating voluntarily in freed markets rather than being left to a few companies and families that are well-connected with politicians and bureaucrats who wield the power of coercion. Weather is as old as time, and the market long ago devised ways to hedge bets.


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